Zynga shake-up: too little too late?

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iol scitech oct 12 Zynga ceo REUTERS Zynga CEO Mark Pincus (file photo).

New York - Struggling social games pioneer Zynga on Tuesday announced a shake-up of its management team as its chief financial officer left to take a job at Facebook.

Zynga CFO Dave Wehner has accepted a “senior position” at Facebook and will be replaced by Mark Vranesh, who had the job previously, according to a memo sent to Zynga workers by company chief Mark Pincus.

“Dave provided great leadership to our financial team over the past two years, helping guide the company's transition from startup through IPO,” Pincus said.

“He remains a good friend to us all and we wish him success in his next endeavour.”

Pincus also replaced Zynga's chief operating and revenue officers along with the president of games at the San Francisco-based firm that rose to stardom with Facebook games but has been struggling to find a winning formula for profit.

“These changes come at an important time,” Pincus said. “We are positioning ourselves for long-term growth.”

Zynga shares were up slightly to $2.13 in after-market trades on the Nasdaq exchange.

Zynga in October delivered an earnings report that beat expectations and made an opening ante into real-money casino games in Britain.

Zynga reported it lost $52.725 million on revenue of $316.637 in the quarter that ended on September 30 but was so confident in its future that it planned to repurchase $200 million worth of its shares.

The company also announced a partnership with real-money gaming operator Bwin.party to run poker, roulette, blackjack and other virtual casino games in Britain.

In October, Zynga began trimming workers, shuttering studios and shelving older titles to get in better financial shape.

Zynga planned to trim five percent of its approximately 3,300 full-time workers and dump 13 games, along with significantly cutting its investment in The Ville franchise.

The cost-cutting moves are intended to let Zynga focus on more promising games and ramp up its network on the Web and on mobile devices.

Zynga rose to stardom by tailoring games for play by friends on Facebook and went on to create its own online playground at zynga.com.

The booming popularity of playing games on smartphones or tablet computers took a toll on Zynga's online social network offerings, prompting the company to make shifting to mobile a top priority, according to Pincus. - AFP

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